Bad Cop, No Donut

Despite earning world-wide scorn for his plan to outlaw large sodas in New York City, little mayor Bloomberg evidently plans on going through with it. (P. J. O’Rourke said he wants to outlaw any drink that’s taller than he is.) And although thinking people are appalled, there are plenty of slobbering sycophants cheering him on.

The NYC Department of Health (aka DOH!) is also making noise about restricting popcorn and milkshakes and large specialty coffee drinks. Nannies never sleep – there’s always some new decision they insist on making for you.

There is only one way to stop any kind of tyrant – someone has to stand up, look them in the eye, and say, “No.” In this case they need to say, “No, I will not stop serving my customers what they want. I will not pay any fine for serving my customers. Now get out of here, and don’t come back again.”

If one or two or three business owners do this it will have no effect. They’ll be crushed by Big Brother and held up as an example of why everyone else should comply. But if a majority, or even a sizable minority, join forces they could do it successfully, as long as they are willing to use the powerful weapon they have at their disposal.

These restrictions will be enforced by the DOH who has the power to shut down a business that refuses to comply. The businesses need to respond by refusing to shut down. Period. This will lead to the DOH resorting to violence: calling in the police to enforce their draconian policies. And this is where the restaurant owners can take the upper hand: They must declare that any establishment subjected to such force will, forever, refuse to serve police officers. Bad Cop = No Donut.

They should also refuse to serve DOH employees.

Chains need to do this city wide. Call the cops on a McDonald’s in Brooklyn, bad cop no donutand suddenly all MickyDees are off limits to the police in all five boroughs. Sic the police on one Starbucks, and suddenly every Starbucks in NYC refuses to serve cops.

The cliché of cops in donut shops is based on a very simple reality – people who work on-the-go make regular stops for coffee and snacks. I’ve worked on the road, and a refreshing pause makes the difference between getting through the day alert and competent and dragging ass and doing a lousy job. It’s not an treat or a luxury – you need to recharge your batteries to keep going.

Imagine the effect if shops all over the city suddenly refused to serve police officers. Cops would be angry at first, but then their thirst (and perhaps their common sense) would lead them back down very quickly and refuse to harass more shop owners.

It’s unlikely this will happen, because most corporations are too gutless to do it. But if they grow a pair they could stop this right here, right now. And they better, because if they don’t they’ll soon find nearly every item on their menu is under attack from the diminutive nanny mayor and his DOH.


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